A staffer in Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Washington D.C. office has tested positive for COVID-19. It is the first known case of COVID-19 confirmed on Capitol Hill.
According to Politico’s reporting, Cantwell will shut down her offices in D.C. and Seattle and her staff will telecommute.
The announcements came only hours after congressional leaders agreed to restrict public access to Capitol Hill, cancelling tours until end the March, at the earliest.
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An expansive complex with a steady stream of visitors, containing the virus in the Capitol poses significant challenges.
No members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, though several Republicans — Sen. Ted Cruz, Reps. Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Mark Meadows, and Doug Collins, are self-quarantining after interacting last month with a person at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who tested positive.
Democratic Reps. Don Beyer and Julia Brownley are also self-quarantining due to possible exposures.